Boston Roll Sushi [Easy Shrimp Maki Recipe]

Boston roll is an incredible twist on maki sushi. Rolling rice around nori seaweed, shrimp and avocado creates a hearty filling, before topped with bright orange tobiko. Find out how to make boston roll sushi with our recipe.

boston roll sushi recipe

This sushi recipe can be called an inversion of traditional sushi since it has the rice on the outside and the nori sheet on the inside. It should take you about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. 

In addition to the ingredients, you will also need plastic wrapping and a sushi mat. Adding lemon juice can also add a particular element to the taste of the roll. Don’t forget to include your seasoning of choice but also remember that soy sauce is a seasoning, and you don’t want to overdo it. 

What is a Boston roll?

Sushi is known as a Japanese dish; that is where it originated. Traditional Japanese maki sushi is what most people know as sushi. And rightfully so. Sushi is a Japanese dish that has crossed borders and has been adopted by many and customized to suit different pallets and the availability of ingredients. The Boston roll sushi is an adaptation of traditional sushi. It can be best described as an inside-out sushi roll because the rice is outside, and the nori is on the inside. 

One of the Boston roll distinctions is the bright orange color on the outside, and this comes from the capelin roe.  The Boston roll derives its name as a way to honor the abundance of shrimp in Boston. It originated in the Eastern parts of the US. This version of sushi uses poached shrimp instead of raw fish. A Boston roll contains avocado, crunchy cucumber, and cooked shrimp. 

boston roll sushi



This is one of the essential ingredients, and you can’t skimp on the quality of rice you get. It needs to be just right, and it also should be prepared right. It is essential to choose rice that has short grains. 

When you make rice for sushi, you will need to use a ratio of one to one. That means one cup of rice with one cup of water. This is because you don’t cook the rice the same way you would cook it ordinarily. Japanese rice works best for sushi since it can remain fluffy and not get mushy even after you roll it.  

Rice Vinegar 

Rice vinegar is ideal for sushi because it acts as a binding agent but has a subtle flavor profile that doesn’t overwhelm. If you don’t have any, apple cider or white wine vinegar are good rice vinegar substitutes thanks to their delicate taste and soft bitterness.


Fresh shrimp works best for sushi. So the shrimp will be poached to make the Boston sushi roll. 


You will need fresh vegetables to bring out a crispy and fresh crunch. Fresh cucumbers will add that crunch. You will also need fresh avocado. Make sure it is not only fresh but that it is ripe. You can check how mature it is by trying to pull out the stem. If it easily comes out, then it is ripe. But if you need to tug and pull, then it’s not. 

Nori Sheets

Go for high-quality nori sheets. You want to get nori sheets that are jet black and shiny. In addition, it needs to have an umami flavor with a hint of sweetness to it. High-quality nori will have the right flavors, unlike cheap nori with a solid fish-like taste, which can be off-putting. 


You will also need to get a tobiko. Choose authentic brands. It’s not advisable to look for substitutes since they may alter the taste of the dish. 

Time & Temperatures

You will need about 20 minutes to prepare the ingredients, and this includes poaching the shrimp and cooking the rice. You will also need an additional 10 minutes to roll the sushi and have it ready to serve. 


  • Use good quality ingredients.
  • It’s best to cook the rice using a 1:1 ratio between the rice and water not to be too soft.
  • Make sure to use ripe avocado.
  • Place plastic foil over the mat so that the rice doesn’t stick to the mat.

How to make Boston roll sushi from scratch

The first step is to make sure all your ingredients are laid out and ready. The shrimp needs to be poached in water for about 3 to 5minutes. Then layout your mat followed by plastic foil. Then cut the nori in half and lay it on the mat. The next step is to lay half the rice over the Nori sheet, then flip the plastic over so that the rice is on the bottom and the nori sheet is on top. 

Make sure the avocado and cucumber are sliced into matchstick-like shapes. Then place the vegetables and the shrimp on the nori sheet. Then begin rolling the sushi by placing your thumbs under the mat, lifting gently, and starting to roll. As you make the roll, you want to ensure that the bamboo mat is not being rolled into the sushi.

Then lift the mat and the plastic off the roll, and roll the sushi in tobiko. Then cover it again in more plastic wrap to make sure that the tobiko sticks to the roll. Then allow the roll to sit for about 5 minutes. You can repeat this process to make more sushi rolls. Then slice the roots into sizes you can manage. 

boston roll sushi recipe

Boston Roll Sushi [Easy Shrimp Maki Recipe]

Boston roll is an incredible twist on maki sushi. Rolling rice around nori seaweed, shrimp and avocado creates a hearty filling, before topped with bright orange tobiko. Find out how to make boston roll sushi with our recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Asian
Servings 8


  • rice cooker
  • bamboo mat
  • plastic wrap


  • 3 oz poached shrimp
  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp sushi vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tobiko
  • 1 Nori sheet
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced into strips


  • Wash sushi rice and add to rice cooker. Add water with a 1:1 ratio and cook in line with your rice cooker’s instructions. Usually around 15-20 minutes.
  • When cooked, transfer rice to large mixing bowl. Stir in sushi vinegar.
  • Place bamboo mat flat out on counter surface. Place a layer of plastic wrap on top.
  • Place the nori sheet on the mat and spread half of your cooked sushi rice on the nori sheet. Gently spread it to create an even layer of rice all the way to the edges of the sheet. Add more rice if you see any big gaps.
  • Turn the nori sheet over so the rice is face-down on the bamboo mat. Carefully arrange the shrimp, cucumber and avocado in a thin line across the center of the nori sheet.
  • Lift up the mat edge closest to you and carefully roll the mat away from you to wrap the nori and rice, ensuring you don’t roll the mat into the sushi. Remove the mat and plastic wrap.
  • Cover the top and sides of the sushi with tobiko, gently massaging in so it sticks.
  • Slice the sushi to serve